Help with a dead Unicorn


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Truespeech lets you communicate with anything that has a language.


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parsimony wrote:
I have questions. Why are you calling the poachers "poachers?" Robin Hood was a poacher; he was chaotic good by most conceptions. How do you or anyone know the poacher are/were evil? Maybe the unicorn attacked them?

Short answer - They were called poachers in the adventure. They were actively hunting the Unicorn to sell it's horn to a local Alchemist (who would have purchased it off the party if they decided to go that way).

My Reasoning - The area that the adventure takes place in is ruled by a Lord (LG). These hunters were in a secluded part of the forest and did not wish their location known - which is why they attacked the party. These hunters were not hunting with permission.

parsimony wrote:
Why would a dragon prefer cooked unicorn over raw unicorn? Cooked unicorn spells TRAP.

My thinking exactly.

parsimony wrote:
Anyway, the primary purpose of the player actions here seems to be to mess with the DM.

If these were any other people I would tend to agree with you. But in my heart of hearts I know that these folks were just enjoying themselves in the game here and didn't have any intention of messing with me :)

parsimony wrote:

Cannibalism is mommas eating babies when they're hungry, eating dead associates in a starvation situation, or ritual cannibalism by eating hearts or livers.

A man cooking a talking dolphin, a dragon eating an uppity maiden, or adventurers checking out unicorn drumstick ain't cannibalism, although it may be bad politics. I don't care what a wiki or a developer says, it's meaningless to extend the word to that extent.

In my mind, I've been equating this Unicorn situation to Harambe or Cecil the Lion. But then we're kind of getting into a slippery slope. This is a role-playing game, how close do we want to get this to real life?

edit for spelling mistake


Okay, thanks - I thought it required a language, but wasn't sure!

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I mean, Erastil is the least flexible of the LG gods. As to there being an objective, absolute morality...I'd actually be inclined to disagree with that. Other than spell effects, the specifics of what moral standing an act has seems to depend on the divinity judging you at the time. But, I digress.

I do recall there being people in RPGs who specifically subsist on magical fare for exactly that reason, because they consider consuming any life to survive abhorrent, so they manufacture it from pure aether instead. This an extreme dietary restriction...I guess? To be honest, if you had the resources to do this often enough, it seems like a pretty good option, considering you could just magic yourself up whatever food you wanted without any moral qualms, so...win-win?


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Whatever happens just be sure to have the players be attacked by a band of adventurers who surely assume they are a camp of evil poachers in the middle of dressing a Unicorn carcass.

"No, no, we're not evil poachers, we just killed the evil poachers, and we're, uh, well why let a good unicorn corpse go to waste right? Want a taste?"


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The Drunken Dragon wrote:
I mean, Erastil is the least flexible of the LG gods.

Blah, blah I talk too much, sorry.:
Is he? How so?

But that aside, his flexibility is rather irrelevant to the fact that his core concept is made clear: family, farming, hunting, and trade.

In terms of that, though he condemns suicide, his story (as noted in the Kingmaker AP), includes his famed hunt of the Grim White Stag, which only ended when he, unable to actually kill the elusive thing, mutually acknowledged the worth of each other.

The story is not in the Wiki, and my memory is rusty, and I'm not the GM of that AP; take the finer details above with a nice salt lick.

This seems to indicate that he has no particular qualms at the basic idea of hunting a sentient creature for whatever (non-evil) reason, and hunting is not meant to be a sport for Erastil: he is noted as having numerous similarities with (and thus getting along well with) the Green Faith, despite the sharp alignment differences, who hold the...

Green Faith wrote:
... belief that natural forces are worthy of attention and respect. Followers of the Green Faith meditate daily, commune with natural forms of power, and show respect to nature in all things.

This certainly includes creatures like spiders, preying mantises, and similar such creatures that engage in cannibalistic behavior.

Granted, the two faiths are not the same, and that's a valid question - but the fact is, Erastil, though lawful good, is noted as having more in common with true-neutral Gozreh, and the Green Faith than entities such as Abadar and Torag and Iomedae.

(Anyway, I submit that this could be way off topic; mostly the repeated use of him as, "Well he wouldn't accept such a thing." struck me as particularly odd, given his focus on survival and honoring the family and attunement with all sorts of natural concepts. If this is worthy of a different thread, by all means feel free to start one, and I'd be delighted to discuss it with you, there! :D)

Of course, it's also worth considering: it's quite possible that many of the oldest legends and cultures that are associated with eating sentient creatures may even predate the rise of Urgathoa, who may thus be the origin of disease, and undeath - that could well mean that cannibalism had no downsides at one time... but now does.

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The Drunken Dragon wrote:
As to there being an objective, absolute morality...I'd actually be inclined to disagree with that. Other than spell effects, the specifics of what moral standing an act has seems to depend on the divinity judging you at the time. But, I digress.

Part 1, I still talk too much, sorry:
Not really.

The fact that there are spell effects that function exclusively based on alignment tends to indicate absolute objective alignment, but if that wasn't enough, the gods themselves have alignment applied to them (instead of determining their own), and, what's more, entire class structures rely on specific alignments.

You have paladins who must be lawful good, and follow a sacred code (separate from, but related to, the LG requirement), and need no god to judge them. Similarly, any antipaladin must be chaotic evil.
Note: paladins and antipaladins may be agents of a divine entity, but they are not required to be agents of a divine entity. Only clerics fill that role in Golarion.

You have druids, which do not require a patron, but must be within a one step of True Neutral.
Note: druids may be agents of a divine entity, but they are not required to be agents of a divine entity. Only clerics fill that role in Golarion.

You have monks that (archetypes aside) must be lawful, and are not in any way empowered by gods - heck, even if you trade out their Su and Sp abilities, the alignment restriction doesn't change.

Barbarians absolutely must be non-lawful.

Assassin PrC requires any evil.

What's more, looking at subtypes, you have the (chaotic), (evil), (good), and (lawful) subtypes - these subtypes are applied as a fundamental truly-extant part of the omniverse - they are not subjective, and are not open for debate: anyone can do the equivalent of scientific testing and prove these to be real. They have true, tangible effects on the environment and the way they interact with the world.

Beyond class requirements, spell effects, and similar abilities, however, you have the alignment rules themselves, which note,

The Rules wrote:
All creatures have an alignment and alignment determines the effectiveness of some spells and magic items.

... and,

Still the Rules wrote:

Changing Alignments

<snip>
Certain character classes list repercussions for those who don’t adhere to a specific alignment, and some spells and magic items have different effects on targets depending on alignment, but beyond that it’s generally not necessary to worry too much about whether someone is behaving differently from his stated alignment. In the end, the Game Master is the one who gets to decide if something’s in accordance with its indicated alignment, based on the descriptions given previously and his own opinion and interpretation—the only thing the GM needs to strive for is to be consistent as to what constitutes the difference between alignments like chaotic neutral and chaotic evil.
<snip>

... which indicates, pretty strongly, that within the realm of the story-world, morality is consistent - it is only where our world intersects (i.e., the subjective thought process of fallible mortals) that any subjective non-absolute system comes into play.

So, for example, let's say that there is a code that defines "right" and "wrong" - this is called absolute. Things that are "right" are always "right" - things that are not are always "wrong" instead.

But then, the interpretation of what is one or the other is requested of a fallible person with limited insight into the absolute mentioned above. That person may decide that because "right" hands are called "right" they do, in fact, fall under the "right" and all left hands become "wrong"... and meanwhile another person thinks that's stupid and disagrees. These are both subjective interpretations of an absolute system - which one is, in fact, "right" is only able to be decided by the system itself, yet each has a subjective interpretation thereof.

This is where we are with the game world: alignment itself is written, has hard-coded rules (and a number of soft-coded rules), and has actual mechanical impact in play (and continues to have mechanical impact, even when it is absent: that mythic ability (see below) is eating up one of your slots for mythic power, after all). We have subjective mortal interpreters who debate what that absolute means, but the absolute remains absolute.

Part two, I talk to much, and mildly poke a hole in my own argument with an attempt to explain it:
The only place in the entire game system (hence, the only place where it could be argued to be "subjective" or "not absolute") where alignment does not exist is the beyond morality (you'll need to run a ctlr+f search) mythic ability; however, even that ability notes,

That ability wrote:
If you lose this effect, you revert to your previous alignment.

... which means that it's not a real and fundamental shift in the way that reality works, but a literal removal of your interaction with reality. In other words, it's the equivalent of a Game Genie or (if that's too old for you) Game Shark video game hacking device: a kind of added-on kludge that lets you ignore the hard-coded rules that truly do exist and are fundamental, but can be circumvented by forces that literally alter reality (but only for you).

It would be like if, in real life, someone traveled from a different existence (ala "many worlds" only more-so) with entirely different physics (never mind that such a thing is probably impossible - they use different physics, so it's not) and did things that can't be done here.

That wouldn't actually change the rules of our reality - just because that individual brought with them some sort of outside hack that allowed them to utilize effects that are impossible here doesn't alter the truth for literally everything else in existence. And if they happened to lose that special gewgaw that let them do the thing, they'd suddenly be as restricted as everyone else.

Or, even better, let's look at an absolute real effect in-game: the base attack bonus. That is a real, it is absolute. It is objective.

You get one attack, plus one attack for every five "points" after the first, maximum four attacks; you can also pick up a second weapon and gain an extra attack, but suffer penalties for it. That's an absolute, objective part of reality.

A mage comes along and casts a haste spell - suddenly you can get an extra attack at no downside whatsoever. That does not change the absolute objective part of reality that is the Base Attack - that part of existence is still as ironclad as ever. But the rules have been hacked, locally, and will eventually return to "normal" - even if it was permanent/continuous through magic item or other shenanigans, there are methods of removing that ability and allowing reality to reassert it's normal flow - something that the very ability notes can happen (by clarifying how the rules work when it does).

Effectively: alignment is real, it's a fundamental part of the game world as-published, and it's absolute, and though it can be excised or turned into a subjective non-absolute this is either a "hack" (the basic underlying absolute laws remain the same, even as they are - effectively temporarily - ignored), or you're just rewriting the game's code and playing a different game than the one presented in the book.

(There isn't anything wrong with that, by the way - such alignment concerns are even addressed in the pretty awesome Pathfinder Unchained.)

=======================================================

The Drunken Dragon wrote:
I do recall there being people in RPGs who specifically subsist on magical fare for exactly that reason, because they consider consuming any life to survive abhorrent, so they manufacture it from pure aether instead. This an extreme dietary restriction...I guess? To be honest, if you had the resources to do this often enough, it seems like a pretty good option, considering you could just magic yourself up whatever food you wanted without any moral qualms, so...win-win?

This is really cool-sounding, and I'd love to know more about them! Do you have any links or names or such? :D


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

...and here I was thinking it'd be a neat curse to have those that ate the unicorn flesh suffer a 'curse' of sorts...

...after all, you are what you eat


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Wei Ji the Learner wrote:
..after all, you are what you eat

we had a gnome with that phelosophy in a campaign once, he was a canable and he only ate gnomes


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Wei Ji the Learner wrote:

...and here I was thinking it'd be a neat curse to have those that ate the unicorn flesh suffer a 'curse' of sorts...

...after all, you are what you eat

"LOL, I'm a tourist" said the lion!

Wouldn't eating a good thing give you a good effect, then? Or, they each grow a horn on their forhead.

The Drunken Dragon wrote:
magic yourself up whatever food you wanted [from pure aether]

Uh, magic replicator!


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Derklord wrote:
Wei Ji the Learner wrote:

...and here I was thinking it'd be a neat curse to have those that ate the unicorn flesh suffer a 'curse' of sorts...

...after all, you are what you eat

"LOL, I'm a tourist" said the lion!

Wouldn't eating a good thing give you a good effect, then? Or, they each grow a horn on their forhead.

The Drunken Dragon wrote:
magic yourself up whatever food you wanted [from pure aether]
Uh, magic replicator!

Oh, it'd hardly be a curse if folks got all the benefits and none of the drawbacks, would it?

Hooves instead of hands, tail that's inconvenient, bright white hide that sticks out when people are paying attention.

Given the mythical origins of Unicorns, they have to come about *somehow*, right?


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Trimalchio wrote:

Whatever happens just be sure to have the players be attacked by a band of adventurers who surely assume they are a camp of evil poachers in the middle of dressing a Unicorn carcass.

"No, no, we're not evil poachers, we just killed the evil poachers, and we're, uh, well why let a good unicorn corpse go to waste right? Want a taste?"

This, at least, is a reasonable response. Although, I'd suspect the details of the state of the unicorn carcass and whether it is identifiable as such and not simply a horse would be in question.


Seriously? Hooves instead of heands? That would completely incapacitate almost every character. That's worse than "rocks fall, you die".


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Did anyone try to take the horn? Have it show up in their belongings every now and then, like a clingy macguffin that knows how to teleport and mess with things. For example, it can get magically heavier and overload someone or it hides in the fighter's scabbard and- surprise!- you're fighting with a dinky unicorn horn and not your +5 sword!

Then have it get violent later and show up in the backs of one of your evilest players. Heck, have it curse someone while they're at it.


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Derklord wrote:
Seriously? Hooves instead of heands? That would completely incapacitate almost every character. That's worse than "rocks fall, you die".

Not quite. The character can still eat whatever other highly magical creatures they find to see what happens. That'll be interesting at the very least.


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Pathfinder needs magical vegemite.


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Does enchanting vegemite raise or lower the poison DC?

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Tacticslion wrote:
The Drunken Dragon wrote:
I mean, Erastil is the least flexible of the LG gods.

** spoiler omitted **

(Anyway, I submit that this could be way off topic; mostly the repeated use of him as, "Well he wouldn't accept such a thing." struck me as particularly odd, given his...

You raise some good points sir (on the entirety of your posts) and i would to subscribe to your newsletter.

Kidding aside, those *are* good points I didn't consider, and as much as I dislike it, I must agree. Morality is, by virtue of the alignment system existing, objective in-game.

As to the source of that magical food...I have absolutely no idea. An attempt at a quick google search turned up nothing. I can't be confident that it even occurred in an actual game setting, but it may have been given as a hypothetical in a splat-book or blog somewhere and i latched onto the idea. Heck, it might even have been a post on these very messageboards, and it's been too long for me to not suffer source confusion. So...unfortunately, I can provide no help. The closest I can think of is that gnome village in Isger that uses alchemically treated heat-rocks instead of fire, and that's only because of the similarity in theme (using magic to ignore a basic survival necessity).


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I guess that means you don't like vegemite. But there is a better example of eating sentients. We have the amazing ghoran of Garund, who produces good berries on his/her body. Nibble your comrade while you travel! But we are straying from the poor unicorn. I can't get past the unicorn in literature and why girls like to ride horses. Naughty girls would be spurned and more likely to cook and eat the unicorn.


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I'm waiting breathlessly for the next installment.


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bitter lily wrote:
I'm waiting breathlessly for the next installment.

Same, because judging by the lack of response, I am simultaneously convinced and disappointed that nobody in the party attempted to use the unicorn horn as a shank.


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Reduxist wrote:
bitter lily wrote:
I'm waiting breathlessly for the next installment.
Same, because judging by the lack of response, I am simultaneously convinced and disappointed that nobody in the party attempted to use the unicorn horn as a shank.

Your average adventurer has much better pointy objects than shanks.


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The Sideromancer wrote:
Reduxist wrote:
bitter lily wrote:
I'm waiting breathlessly for the next installment.
Same, because judging by the lack of response, I am simultaneously convinced and disappointed that nobody in the party attempted to use the unicorn horn as a shank.
Your average adventurer has much better pointy objects than shanks.

Yes, but how else can a PC create unicorn horn gorn?


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Reduxist wrote:
bitter lily wrote:
I'm waiting breathlessly for the next installment.
Same, because judging by the lack of response, I am simultaneously convinced and disappointed that nobody in the party attempted to use the unicorn horn as a shank.

Sorry for the delay... last game called on account of illness.

They did find the Unicorn's Horn, the cleric took it, went off into the forest and buried it. So no shank I'm afraid. They also could have kept it and sold it to a local alchemist - who the poachers were going to sell it to. Of course a Unicorn's horn can be sharpened into an excellent shank-type weapon... I cite Bugs Bunny as precedent:

https://i.ytimg.com/vi/7OpOYGt4Sss/hqdefault.jpg

The Unicorn eating comeuppance has not come up yet. The PCs have finished the Unicorn side adventure and moved on in the campaign with that sword hanging over their heads. But I expect they will find out quite soon


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Smythers00 wrote:
The Unicorn eating comeuppance has not come up yet. The PCs have finished the Unicorn side adventure and moved on in the campaign with that sword hanging over their heads. But I expect they will find out quite soon

As I recall, only one PC was actually un-queasy enough to munch on the barbecue. It will be interesting to find out if the comeuppance comes up for only the one PC, or for all of the confederates, too...


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you could save a part of that unicorn and use it for resurrecting the creature.


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All PCs who ate the unicorn gain a bonus on saving throws against poison.


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Maybe they will get the defect, food memory.

Normally, when such a person eats any part of anything, they become connected to it. Eating beef will make them moo for a little while, but intelligent creatures are a long term problem. Something like a unicorn can become magic jarred in their body and try to possess them, whenever it wants to.


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Goth Guru wrote:

Maybe they will get the defect, food memory.

Normally, when such a person eats any part of anything, they become connected to it. Eating beef will make them moo for a little while, but intelligent creatures are a long term problem. Something like a unicorn can become magic jarred in their body and try to possess them, whenever it wants to.

That's a good idea! It can add personality to the unicorn as well; it could be cold and steely, but still devoted to the idea of good via invoking/performing good acts through the characters. Or maybe the unicorn had a change of heart for the worse, occasionally possessing the pcs to show its ill will towards them.


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Hey! Any comeuppance yet?

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